Home Chicago Press Releases 2012 Suspect in Movie Piracy Case Arrested

Suspect in Movie Piracy Case Arrested

FBI Chicago July 23, 2012
  • Special Agent Garrett Croon (312) 829-1199

A suspect in an international movie piracy case believed to be responsible for the illegal manufacture, duplication, and distribution of thousands of first-run motion pictures was arrested in Chicago last week, announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Gerardo Arellano, age 35, whose last known address was 4421 South Marshfield in Chicago, was taken into custody on July 19, 2012, by FBI special agents, without incident, outside his residence. Arellano was charged in a federal grand jury indictment, returned in October 2011 and unsealed on Friday, with one count each of unauthorized trafficking of a motion picture and unauthorized recording of a motion picture, both of which are felony offenses.

The investigation into Arellano began in April 2009 when he was arrested by the South Barrington, Illinois Police Department when they discovered him illegally recording “Hannah Montana: The Movie” inside a local theater. A subsequent search of his then Hoffman Estates residence discovered thousands of illegally duplicated movies, along with blank CDs and DVDs and high-speed duplicating equipment.

Subsequent investigation by the FBI developed additional evidence linking Arellano to the movie piracy operation and resulting in the charges that were announced today.

In announcing this arrest, Mr. Grant noted the invaluable assistance provided by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) during the course of the investigation.

Arellano appeared before United States District Court Judge James B. Zagel in Chicago last Thursday, at which time he was formally charged. Arellano was ordered held without bond, pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 24 at 1:30 p.m. Until then, he will be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charges filed against him, Arellano faces a possible sentence of up to eight years’ incarceration.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.